QOTD: Is It Time for Lefty Countries to Drive on the Right Side of the Road?
After only selling close to 250 Volts in Australia since its introduction in 2012, the decision was made to not import the second-generation extended range electric vehicle, even though it features less-quirky styling and an improved electric drivetrain.
But, if Australia was a left-hand drive country, would this be an issue?
Thanks to laws in Australia prohibiting the sale of left-hand drive vehicles, should an automaker want to sell a vehicle Down Under, it must be converted to right-hand drive. For a number of vehicles, due to packaging constraints, this is not feasible from an engineering perspective. More often than not, while it might be technically doable, it just isn’t financially prudent – as is the case with the newly-cancelled Holden Volt.
Folks, its 2015 and we still live in a world where, depending on what country you live in, you drive on one side of the road or the other. Isn’t it time for this to change?
It would certainly make it a lot easier for automakers to develop, engineer, and sell global models. It would make roadways safer (every year there’s always at least one tourist here driving on the wrong side of the road, usually around a roundabout). Australians could get all the Volts and F-150s they want. We could have saved the Australian ute. Everyone could have been happy.
What do you think, B&B? Is it time to ditch right-hand drive?
[Image source: Wiki ian (Own work) [ CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons/Benjamin D. Esham [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]
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The US maintaining a standard opposite England's did once serve a purpose. Visiting English sociopaths were at risk from looking the wrong way when stepping from a curb into traffic. But now that the English are "a little people, a silly people" it no longer matters.
Certainly in the western hemisphere RHD is a tiny minority anachronism. I was in Guyana a few years ago for work (RHD former British colony) and to buy a new car there is absurdly expensive. I was repeatedly asked if one could buy a RHD car in the US and have it shipped. Neighboring Suriname is also RHD. LHD cars are banned. So at least in Guyana and Suriname, switching would make sense as these are tiny markets surrounded by LHD countries. But for the eastern hemisphere, probably not going to happen.